ABINGTON (PA) – Delaware Valley College sophomore center Jeremy Beckett recorded career highs of 27 points and 22 rebounds as the Aggies survived a 22-0 run and a 16-point, first-half deficit to defeat host Penn State Abington, 99-89, in a non-conference game.
The win was the sixth straight for Delaware Valley, which improved its overall record to 12-6 on the season. The pesky Nittany Lions gave the Aggies everything they could handle before falling to 2-15.
Delaware Valley jumped out to a quick 9-3 advantage just 2:11 into the game, but it changed dramatically over the next six-plus minutes. The team missed six shots from the field, four attempts from the foul line and turned the ball over four times. Meanwhile, Penn State Abington stringed together 22 unanswered points and a 25-9 advantage with 11:21 remaining in the half. The Aggie drought finally ended 16 seconds later on a Chris Ellis layup.
The Nittany Lions still held a 16-point advantage with eight minutes remaining in the half, but Delaware Valley slowly chipped away and cut it down to eight, 45-37 with 48 seconds to go before the intermission. The Aggies then scored eight of the final 10 points of the stanza, including a 3-pointer by Beckett near the buzzer, to trail 47-45.
Delaware Valley opened the second half with a 7-0 run to take a five-point lead, but Penn State Abington fought back and regained a five-point advantage of its own. The teams then traded leads, including when Joshua Howard hit a layup with 5:31 remaining to give the Nittany Lions the 83-82 advantage.
Three points by Beckett and two by Ellis made it 87-83 in favor of the Aggies, but Corey Curtis drained a trey for a one-point game with 2:43 to go. Delaware Valley responded with six straight, including five by Ellis, and Penn State Abington never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
The Aggies went to the foul line 48 times (just 23 by home team), including 30 times in the opening half. They managed to hit just 15 of the first-half attempts, but were a strong 15-for-18 in the final 20 minutes. Penn State Abington, meanwhile, chucked up 34 attempts from 3-point land, hitting just 10.
Beckett was 10-for-17 from the field, including the 3-pointer at the end of the first half, and 6-for-11 from the foul line for his 27 points. Fifteen of his 22 rebounds came at the defensive end. James Jones finished with 22 points, including a 12-for-15 effort from the foul line and the senior also handed out nine assists. Ellis was 6-for-10 from the field and 7-for-11 from the charity stripe for 20 points. Jason Goldheimer hit a trio of bombs and ended the evening with 11 points.
Howard had 25 points and 11 rebounds to pace Penn State Abington. Curtis added 19 points while William Alton contributed 13 points and seven assists.